Sometimes you see something and just need to take it all in. Like the Grand Canyon, or this tweet right here:
Would have liked to see what Molitor could have done with a roster not saddled with Mauer's $23 million annual salary. Then again, FalVine would have been the ones signing players and that ain't exactly gone wonderfully.— Bob Sansevere (@bobsansevere) October 2, 2018
It’s at least arguable that the second sentence of this tweet is correct. Some of their moves have been bad! The Jake Odorizzi deal looks alright, but those Lance Lynn and Logan Morrison signings turned out to be way less sexy than initially thought. But we’re not here to talk about that.
Imagine living in a world where you think Joe Mauer’s salary was what was preventing Paul Molitor from thriving. For example, it seems extremely likely that Molitor could destroy a league-average bullpen from overuse if Mauer was getting paid $23 million, the league minimum, or in scraps of old newspaper and apple cores.
More importantly, THERE IS NO SALARY CAP IN BASEBALL. There’s a luxury tax, but the Twins are nowhere near it. The Twins roster was not saddled with Mauer’s salary. It’s not saddled with anything. The Pohlads are a very wealthy people. Rich mahogany, leather carapaces, Betamax machines, etc. $23 million per year isn’t exactly a rounding error for them, but it’s more like you misplacing a $10 bill. You could probably use that $10 bill, but you’re going to be able pay the rent. They can afford any player in major league baseball. They choose not to because that’s not how they run their business.
And there’s the thing. The tweet would approach rational thought if that first sentence mentioned more support from ownership. Don’t blame Mauer for getting paid, blame the Pohlads for not throwing more money at the roster. More and better free agents, international signings, what the shit ever. I’d disagree, as the team’s issues this year had more to do with the young, affordable stars falling flat on their face, but at least it approaches the realm of a sense-making argument.
Instead, he chose to dump on Mauer one last time because that dead horse’s expiration date is finally coming due. Implying Molitor would have been a runaway success absent the Mauer contract/albatross assumes a managerial acumen that is just not in evidence. He managed four years, three of which hovered around .500 and one of which was a federal Superfund site. His playoff year was aided by the important assistance of there being exactly five teams in the 2017 American League worth a fiddler’s fuck.
Falvey and Levine wanted to hire their own guy. It’s fine. Molitor will be fine. Mauer will be fine. The main takeaway from this entire episode is never, ever tweet. It’s bad!